City schools officials against merger

Monday, Oct. 9 – At the monthly meeting of the Whiteville city Board of Education, superintendent Kenny Garland and board member Greg Merritt both expressed strong opposition to a merger of county and city school systems.

The county school board voted Monday morning to ask for a merger of the 18-campus county system and the five-campus city system. The county commission has taken no action yet.

“The elephant in the room with this merger talk,” said Merritt, “is that that system is broke. They’re drowning. They’re bleeding money with 18 schools operating they cannot maintain.”
Merritt said that the county’s solution should be to consolidate schools within its own system rather than merge with the city.

Merritt predicted that, if the two systems become one, “We’ll be the bad guys. We will insist that they close down some of those small schools. Whether they build new schools or not, they have got to consolidate to quit bleeding money.”